Schools, mental health and law enforcement look at school safety

Inyo Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer brings officials together for a renewed look at school security.

Inyo Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer brings officials together for a renewed look at school security.

The shocking murder of 20 children and six adults at Newtown Connecticut’s Sandy Hook school urged school officials in the Eastern Sierra to take another look at school security and mental health issues.

Tuesday, Inyo County Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer will hold a meeting on school safety plans with local law enforcement, mental health and school officials. McAteer said that along with several school superintendents and principals, Inyo Mental Health Director Gail Zwear would attend, along with Inyo Sheriff Bill Lutze and Bishop Police Chief Chris Carter.

McAteer said all the schools have safety plans, but the Connecticut shootings made everyone wonder if they are doing everything possible. Said McAteer, “We want to respond in a proactive manner. It makes you look again.” Officials will look at the susceptibility of local school campuses to intruders, and they will consider whether they are identifying youths who need help.

Before the Connecticut tragedies, McAteer said Inyo and Mono Schools received a California Department of Mental Health grant which created North Star Counseling in centers at Bishop Elementary and Mammoth High schools. McAteer said 100 local families are receiving weekly counseling right now.

The Superintendent said a lot of these people were not getting services either because they couldn’t afford it or their problems were not severe enough to get county mental health services. North Star charges $35 a hour and some get free services with vouchers handed out at local schools.

McAteer said after the Columbine High School shootings 13 years ago, school officials concentrated on high school students. Now, they are looking earlier at elementary and middle-school kids who are “truly troubled. Those who are bullied. The loners or angry kids.”

Tuesday’s meeting will focus on mental health services but also on what law enforcement has learned about campus security. McAteer said later his office will organize a series of community forums to share school safety plans with concerned parents and families.

11 Responses to Schools, mental health and law enforcement look at school safety

  1. former mono resident January 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Although I have not lived in Mono County for some time, I do follow the news via Sierra Wave. It seems very interesting that no one on this blog, or even President Obama, has mentioned increasing the penalty for using a gun in the commission of a crime. None of the current gun control laws have done anything to limit the number of guns on the street, nor have they slowed the use of guns in commiting crimes. Washington DC is an example. DC is supposed to be a gun free city, and yet crimes with guns continue. Rather than trying to curtail the sale and manufacture of some guns, wouldn’t it be more logical to sentence anyone using a gun to commit a crime to, say, 25 years to life without the possibility of parole in a Federal Prison? Guantanamo would work. Or, at the extreme, how about making the offense a capital crime? Granted, most mass shooters “off” themselves after the crime, but I would think that your average robber, car jacker, drug dealer, drive by shooter, home invader, or gang banger would think twice before using a gun, if he or she knew that a conviction would bring an end to their meaningless life.

  2. Dingo January 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    I like what Larry The Cable Guy said “guns don’t kill people, husbands that come home early kill people”

  3. Jeremiah's Alter Ego January 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Salblaster I agree! Doing nothing is the worse thing we collectively could do right now. You know why we haven’t as a nation been rid of the high capacity magazines?? because the manufacture that produces them is one of the NRA’s biggest donor if not the biggest. So if the American public is gonna pick up talking points that are delivered from the sellout Reps and sellout journalist then you all are only sheep to the vulture system we call democracy.
    Now is the time folks!!
    And a lot of you need to check your source’s!!

  4. Wayne Deja January 15, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    …and also what the Repub’s and tea-baggers want is to allow access to anyone the ability to buy not only assault rifles, but to buy anytype of firearm…with no background check at all….and with no waiting period… and try to spin it saying President Obama wants to take EVERYONE’S guns away.Dateline once did a story on T.V.,enlisting a man that had a violent rap-sheet and had just gotten out of Federal prison for violent crimes,supplying him with the $$$ to go to a gun show and try to purchase weapons.With cameras rolling,he was able to buy pistols,an AK,and I think a mini-14 within minutes,and no questions asked. I mistakenly bought a stolen rifle once in Oregon at a gun show,and when I found out ,had to turn it in,and answer a lot of questions to Law Enforcement. My opinion,for what it’s worth, is try to keep guns out of the hands of people that shouldn’t have guns…and ban assault rifles.Guys,want to go out and blow up the side of a mountain ?..Get yourself a Marlin 336 lever and have your fun.

    • Machine guns are banned January 16, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      The president offially banned assault weapons (machine guns).
      Perhaps a kinder, saner America will be the result.
      It’s protecting the kids.

  5. Machine Guns and Americana January 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Agreed. Unfortunately, there are those who believe THIS about machine guns (which is what Automatic rifles actually are):
    “When machine guns are outlawed – only outlaws will have machine guns!” (as they wave the flag).
    I think these are the same people who think Michele Bachmann should have been elected president.

  6. salblaster January 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    for a while now i’ve been reconsidering my position on gun control, then with the connecticut school shootings i’m realizing theres a big problem with all semi automatic weapons. I’ve grown up in the gun culture starting with shooting my first pheasant at age 12 back when fish and game use to stock about a 100 pheasant around manzanar and moffett ranch, and have been hunting Inyo co. game ever since, so I understand the pro gun organizations stand on gun control but when it comes to semi auto rifles and hand guns I feel they have no place in american society today, when a punk can exacute a room full of 7 year olds in about a minute I draw the line and would support removal of all semi automatic weapons. this is easier said than done and would probably lead to many more deaths as law enforcement tries to remove these weapons from american society. still something has to be done but not sure what can be done. open to suggestions.

  7. Trouble January 15, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    Remember when all our father figures told us to fight back? They still should.

    • Jeremiah's Alter Ego January 15, 2013 at 9:54 am #

      Culture Change bigtime since those days Trouble, I was talking about this last night with a big gun supporter/Vietnam Veteran and he was talking about taking his gun to school with a permission slip stating he was rabbit shooting after school so it allowed him to bring it. That isn’t the case anymore or a valid reason to bring a gun to school anymore with the wide range of personality’s and exposure to a wide range of ideas and resources to fulfill the free will.
      Culture Change, and it is time to evolve to it, the 2nd amendment shouldn’t allow people to bunker up with weapons like a military with the ideas of fighting government tyranny (which is comical on many levels to think any group of citizens can win a match against a drone).

      • Trouble January 16, 2013 at 6:45 am #

        Jeremiah’s Alter Ego- times have changed, now the poor get fat. Facts are this country has become poorer ,weaker in almost every sense, less respected, and imprisons a higher percentage of it’s people than any country in the world. My grandfather always went out of his way to say it’s a mans job to take care of the women and children .

        If some nut ball kid is messing with another kid, those that are able should put that kid in his place right then and there. Not go running to the principles office and call him a bully. We have had a great amount of “Culture Change” , that doesn’t make it all great. When it comes to guns, I believe our constitution gives me every right to own whatever I want. I don’t own a machine gun , but I don’t condemn or fear those that do. Believe it or not, I actually do think that equal rights has made this country a better place for many. But taking away civil liberties ever chance they get is not protecting our freedom in any way.

        • Jeremiah's Alter Ego January 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

          Yes, the poor get fat, and year after year we keep setting these unsustainable precedents. Yes a majority of this country is getting poorer and weaker because our legislators make their laws in conjunction to the big donors best interest and not what is best for the American people, FACT! (for example wal mart wasn’t for any gun control until they became aware certain legislation would force people to buy guns over the counter, hence giving corporations like wal mart and other big retailers more sells. so of course they are going for it, not because it may help keep our kids safety but because it would bring bigger profits. So of course they support closing the gun show loop hole now.)
          And yes I agree it is a Mans job to stand up for what is right and sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the village. So with that being said how does anybody agree with that and then turn around and act like they really cared about civil liberties when really it is just they don’t want to have there hobby taken from them. If any of you cared about civil liberties you would be concerned about how the Government uses it’s powers and resources to spy on its own people or why American citizens can be killed by drones without due process or why OUR U.S. government can kill kids overseas without any justification? Where is their civil liberties?? But no when it comes to something that effects your lil comfort zone its all about civil liberties and all those predictable talking points that divert attention from the actual issue.
          I disagree Trouble and agree, The constitution does not give you the right to own anything you want but I agree it did allow you to own humans in the past. The constitution is far from perfect so why keep referring to it like it is the word of God. The Constitution does not say you are allowed to own a hundred round drum magazine, but it does have the word Fight against Tyranny in it and guess what I feel the Hundred round clip cause’s? yep that’s right, say it with me TYRANNY.
          Of course equal rights made this country a better place unless you still believe White men that own land should be the only eligible voter.
          You people don’t care about civil liberties until it effects your comfort or convenience.


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